Within the European Union, Germany often plays the role of the stern superego, insisting that everyone plays by the rules. So it’s rather surprising that the country’s new law on mortgages appears to contravene E.U. regulations in several ways.
Though it was passed just two months ago, it already seems to need substantial revision. And this is no academic legal point, either. The country is in the midst of an unprecedented housing boom, with an estimated 13,000 new mortgage contracts signed every day. But not only are the new law’s deviations from E.U. law illegal, their burden also falls almost entirely onto the person taking out the mortgage, say consumer protection groups and members of the European parliament.
“The federal government has failed to correctly incorporate E.U. rules on mortgage loans into German law. They have treated consumer protection very shabbily indeed,” criticized Sven Giegold, a European parliamentarian with the environmentalist Green party who is planning to file a complaint to the E.U. Commission.